Coffee and Tea Newsletter
coffee and tea festival
coffee and tea festival

cup for education

Coffee & Tea Festival: NYC
March 19-20

Starfish Junction Productions is putting the final touches on the 11th annual Coffee & Tea Festival:  NYC to be held on March 19-20 at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint Brooklyn.  The event is open to the public and the trade.  Information about the 2016 Coffee & Tea Festival NYC, including the event seminar lineup, is available at the event website:

“More than 90 exhibitors will be participating this year.  The exhibitors represent both national and local coffee and tea companies as well as some amazing food companies which offer a nice compliment to the other exhibitors,” said Kristyn Dolan, event manager at Starfish Junction.  “We’ve assembled some impressive talent, true industry leaders and pioneers, to host event seminars.  Attendees are in for a real treat,” added Dolan.  Many of the programs are free yet some do require advance tickets (some are already sold out) and a small materials fee to attend, reservations are strongly suggested.  Tickets can be purchased at the event website.

VIP tickets are $35 each and include sampling from the coffee and tea exhibitors as well as the goodie bag. (SATURDAY VIP TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT).  General Admission (GA) tickets are $25 each and include sampling from the coffee and tea exhibitors.  VIP and GA tickets holders are also invited to attend select classes/seminars/demos.  A small additional fee (varies) is applied to special event seminars (ticket availability and seating is limited).  Advanced purchase of tickets is strongly recommended.  Some specialty programs are already SOLD OUT.  Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Coffee & Tea Festival website:

Come see baristas face-off in a bracketed, single elimination competition to see who has the most creative, artistic, and technical latte art in the city. Competitors will not only make art as they would at an espresso bar in midtown but they'll also be challenged to different tasks in later rounds such as producing quality latte art while pouring several feet above a cup. Who will take home the $500 cash prize!

Afternoon Tea Made Easy
Presented By: Lorna Reeves, Editor of TeaTime Magazine

Want great ideas for your next tea party? Lorna Reeves, editor of TeaTime magazine, will share expert tips and techniques for an enjoyable teatime. You’ll learn how to craft a magnificent menu, set a beautiful table, and much, much more to make your teatime celebrations truly memorable.

50 Shades of Cold Brew: Fun Recipes and Uses for Cold Brew Coffee
Presented By:Ben Gordon, Co-Founder of Wandering Bear Coffee

The cold brew category has exploded over the past year, and is now on the tipping point of becoming “mainstream.” But huge segments of the coffee-drinking population still don’t know what cold brew is, what makes it special, or how they should work it into their coffee routine.

In this seminar, learn about cold brew coffee and the product’s versatility. The staff from Wandering Bear Coffee will walk attendees through some of their favorite uses and recipes, including cold brew cocktails, cold brew smoothies, and more. They’ll also prepare some recipes in front of the audience, and come prepared with others, for people to enjoy.

Turkish Coffee: From Bean to Cup
Presented By: Sila Asa, Event Coordinator at the Turkish Cultural Center

Understanding coffee is not complete, until you have learned how to prepare Turkish coffee. In this seminar, open to all attendees of the festival, the Turkish Cultural Center will demonstrate the method of making Turkish coffee and discuss the unique texture and taste of the coffee. From the long-handled pots made from copper and brass (known as a cezve or ibrik) to the uniquely very fine grind (almost like confectioner’s sugar), the preparation of Turkish coffee is quite distinctive.

Think Outside the Tea Cup & Cook with Tea
Presented By: Annelies Zijderveld, Author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea

As the second most enjoyed beverage around the world, tea has its legions of satisfied sippers. But, did you know you could also use tea to add a flavorful accent to familiar foods you cook and bake? Join author of cookbook, Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea for a lively discussion and tempting tasting of tea-infused foods. You will leave with several tips at your fingertips to start cooking with tea right away.

Beyond Organic – Biodynamic
Presented By: Robert Flam, Brand Owner of Jailhouse Coffee

Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food and nutrition. First developed in the early 1920’s based on spiritual insights and practical suggestions of Austrian writer, educator, and social activist, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, biodynamics embraces a holistic view of nature. It is by definition organic, but it also involves biodiversity and astronomy. Food is grown and harvested in accordance with lunar cycles. In this seminar, learn how Jailhouse Coffee developed the first complete line of biodynamic coffee in the market and what it means to be biodynamic in today’s modern world. Biodynamics is about working with nature, not against it, and making the most of the land with minimal cost impact.

Attendees of this seminar will see a video presentation of a working biodynamic farm and also of Camocim Estate where Jailhouse Coffee sources its biodynamic coffee. Plus, enjoy the great taste of “Deep Valley” biodynamic coffee!

Matcha and More:  The Green Tea Traditions of Japan
Presented By: Tomoko Honda of Ippodo Tea Co.

Learn about the allure and depth of character of Japanese green tea from the legendary Kyoto-based tea company, Ippodo. In this seminar, tea expert Tomoko Honda will give an introduction to Japanese green tea and discuss the green tea traditions of Japan. She will also talk about the three keys to preparing Japanese tea and demonstrate how everyone can properly prepare matcha at home. This seminar also includes a screening of Matcha: an Ippodo Story, the award-winning short film which beautifully documents the company’s rich history and family heritage. 

For a small additional materials fee, attendees are invited to secure their spot for a more intimate, more in-depth seminar led by industry pros and innovators.  Advanced purchase is required and seating at each of these seminars is very limited, many sell out in advance of event day.  Special seminars include:

Brewing Fundamentals: Making a Great Cup of Coffee at Home
Presented By: Sarah Leslie, Wholesale Educator & SCAA Specialized Lead Instructor of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
Participation Fee: $12/participant

Brewing a great cup of coffee at home can be a daunting task. Thankfully, we're here to help! This hour and a half brewing intensive is designed to lay the foundation for achieving optimum flavor balance in coffee brewing. Irving Farm’s instructors will provide students with hands-on experience preparing coffee with the Kalita Wave and evaluating brewed coffee’s flavor. This seminar will cover all the basics of coffee brewing, including: determining the correct coffee to water ratio, selecting the appropriate grind size, pouring techniques, and which equipment is necessary for a great cup of coffee.

The Mysterious World of Aged Tea: Pu er, Liu Bao, Liu An…
Presented By: Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster of Camellia Sinensis
Participation Fee: $12/participant

Tea Taster Kevin Gascoyne takes us back to the source with this workshop on aged tea. Discover historical aspects, the ‘Famous Mountains’, the old tea trees, the traditional processing methods and the health benefits of this ancient family of tea. Follow the recent history of the massive rise in popularity of Pu Er at the end of the 20th century and learn more about the ideal conditions for maturing your favorite teas. Participants of this class will have the ability to taste several aged teas.  For tea enthusiasts with mid-level knowledge.

The Importance of Forest Grown Tea: Hawaii Exclusive
Presented By: Dr. Cam Muir of University of Hawaii & Eliah Halpenny of Big Island Tea
Participation Fee: $10

In this seminar, attendees will be led through a discussion of why growing tea in a complex forest is more ecologically sustainable and why it is better for tea quality. This correlation is important information as more tea is being grown in the United States. The experience and strategy of transforming a commercial lettuce farm into a cloud forest including tea will be shared along with mistakes made and lessons learned.  Current research in the effects of different environments on tea gene expression and how that affects tea leaf quality will also be included. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants will be walked through a cupping of Hawaii grown, hand-selected, and processed green and black tea.  Participants will also get to sample Hawaiian Mamaki tea, which is considered a tea native to Hawaii.

Tea Blending Workshop SOLD OUT
Presented By: Linda Villano, Owner/Co-Founder of SerendipiTea
Sponsored By: SerendipiTea
Participation Fee: $15

Spend an afternoon blending teas, fruits, florals, spices and herbs with Linda Villano, co-founder/owner of NY-based SerendipiTea. During the hands-on workshop basic guidelines will be covered on tea blending and by the end of the program all in attendance will have created their very own blended teas or tisanes. Two kraft bags will be provided for each member but do bring other containers as there may be enough ingredients to make additional blends.  For tea enthusiasts of all levels. 

Tea Course Fast Track
Presented By:
Gail Gastelu, Producer of
Sponsored By:
Participation Fee: $245
Duration:  4 Hours

Profit from TEA – Learn about tea this year! In four hours, your business will learn how to incorporate tea into its food and beverage offerings. This seminar provides all of the knowledge you need to get started right away.

Tea Course Fast Track includes:

Tea 101- Learn about Camellia sinensis (tea!) What is it? Where is it grown? How is it harvested? How do you get it (loose or bagged)?

Tea Experience - Taste and compare white, green, oolong, and black teas to understand differences. Learn proper brewing techniques and how to serve.

Tea Uses & Health Benefits - Learn how to incorporate tea into your business. Tea Success- Learn how to successfully market tea and tea events to draw new customers.

Tea Trends - Learn what is trending in the tea industry and how to stay on top. Tea Resources- Learn how to find suppliers, additional education, associations, and more.

BONUSES: All attendees receive a flash drive with additional rea ding, eBooks, resources, and special offers worth more than the class fee. Taste and compare teas and leave with your own tea cupping set. Tea Course Fast Track ticketholders receive access to the Coffee & Tea Festival with their ticket purchase that day. This course is ideal for members of the trade or interested individuals looking to add tea to their business; high knowledge level.

Tea Course is produced by The Tea House Times (a bi-monthly publication connecting businesses and consumers since 2003). The online program is considered continuing education as running a successful business necessitates continual learning, reading, watching the news, and connecting with others in the industry. Members/students are worldwide and many have been successfully continuing their education from the comfort of their own computers since 2008. Over 200 topics, tea market reports, tea trends, tea news, 24/7 access, and weekly updates ensure continuing education.

About Gail Gastelu:
Gail Gastelu is owner/publisher of The Tea House Times, producer of Tea Course and Tea Course Fast Track, co-owner of Tea Etiquette Certified and frequent presenter at tea and/or coffee shows nationwide. Connecting businesses and consumers since 2003, her passion and drive is to help tea businesses grow by providing many services beneficial to the tea industry. The publication, news, education, hosted blogs, special features, and resources may be found by visiting website. Gail recently created the nationwide #DrinkTea Campaign with the Tea Council of the USA. Gail currently serves on the Tea Association of the USA's Specialty Tea Institute Advisory Board and over the years has been an officer or advisory board member to several associations, trade shows, and organizations.

Lorna Reeves, Editor of TeaTime Magazine

Ben Gordon, Co-Founder of Wandering Bear Coffee

Sila Asa, Event Coordinator at the Turkish Cultural Center

Annelies Zijderveld, Author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea

Sarah Leslie, Wholesale Educator & SCAA Specialized Lead Instructor of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters

Gail Gastelu, Producer of Tea Course and Publisher of The Tea House Time

Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster of Camellia Sinensis, Canada

Dr. Cam Muir of University of Hawaii 

Eliah Halpenny of Big Island Tea

Tomoko Honda, Tea Instructor of Ippodo Tea Co

Robert Flam, Owner of Jailhouse Coffee

Linda Villano, Owner/Co-Founder of SerendipiTea

Cup for Education is a non-profit organization that is helping poor, rural coffee communities of Central and Latin America build schools within their communities, and assist in providing them with teachers and the basic tools needed to educate future generations of coffee farmers. Cup for Education has bettered the education of children in over eight countries through the implementation of schools, computer labs, libraries, playgrounds, and more.

“Perhaps we can make the world a little better with the power of the paper, pen, written word and our actions.” – Karen Gordon, Founder of Cup for Education

To learn more or donate to Cup for Education, visit or visit the Cup for Education booth at the festival.

Cup for Education Fundraiser...

BRING YOUR OLD OR UNWANTED SMALL ELECTRONIC ITEMS to the registration booth to help with their fundraising campaign. Recycling for Charities is a non-profit organization with the goal of ridding the environment of e-waste by recycling wireless products. Each item received is recycled properly and a value donation is given back to the Cup For Education charity.

Accepting:  phones, iPods, electronic organizers, cameras, or tablets—even if they don’t work anymore.


The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.  Support them at the event by checking your coat, for a small donation!


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